Bet of the Day

Football Bet of the Day: Back champs to be chumps in Belgium

Mechelen coach Steven Defour
Steven Defour is doing a fine job with hometown club Mechelen

After picking up an odds-against winner in the Netherlands, Kevin Hatchard is taking us over the border to Belgium.


Mechelen v Antwerp
Saturday 30 September, 19:45

Cambuur and PSV II over-delivered for us last night, as they played out a seven-goal thriller which landed our Over 3.5 Goals bet with room to spare. We go into the weekend with a spring in our step.

We're staying in the low countries, because the champions Antwerp have a potentially tricky game away to Mechelen in the Belgian Pro League, and I think Mark van Bommel's side are worth opposing.

Antwerp won a rare title in extraordinary fashion last term, as Antwerp-born defender Toby Alderweireld scored a spectacular last-gasp goal to wrench the league crown away from their rivals. Since then, Antwerp have reached the Champions League's group stage for the first time in their history, but with a packed fixture schedule, things are getting tricky.

The champions have won just three of their eight league matches so far this season, and they have drawn four of the last five. In their last two outings in the top flight they played out goalless draws with RWDM and Gent. On the road, the champions have won just one of four in the league, and that was at rock-bottom Westerlo.

Mechelen finished 13th last term, and they are understandably a bit hit-and-miss. They have won three, drawn one and lost four so far, but there are signs that former Belgium midfielder Steven Defour has them heading in the right direction. Defour was born in Mechelen and used to play for the club, so this is something of a labour of love for the ex-Burnley, Porto and Antwerp star.

Antwerp have another big Champions League game coming up, their first ever group match at home, so they may be a little distracted here. Mechelen have won two of their last three home matches in the league, including a 4-0 hammering of a strong Union Saint-Gilloise team.

I'll happily lay Antwerp at 1.758/11 in the Match Odds market.

Lay Antwerp at 1.758/11

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